READER SPOTLIGHT: Names and Meatloaf

>> Monday, May 17, 2010

Hi, I'm Marly. I'm passionate about names. In fact I even have a blog, Namely Marly, where I write a lot about names. You might be asking, how is it that a person who loves names finds herself writing a post about meatloaf? And not just any meatloaf, VEGAN meatloaf.

Actually vegan meatloaf is a nice metaphor for my life. You see, I am just like my meatloaf recipe: I didn't start out vegan. I also didn't start out as Marly. One of the reasons I'm passionate about names is because I changed mine. Legally. I found the name I was given at birth didn't suit me, so I changed it (By the way, I chose the name Marly before I heard about the book with the dog).

Vegan meatloaf represents taking a standard, run of the mill, cholesterol-laden meal and transforming it. It's not really meatloaf anymore (in the traditional sense of the word). It's better.

And that's me. I was your typical, "housewifey" suburbanite. And now through a series of transformations, I’m something more (Wow. That sounds like a plug for the bionic woman or something). Sure, I still live in a suburb, but I now live in the downtown area of a 'burb (that's got to count for something).

Changing my name represented the courage that I needed in my life to be who I wanted to be rather than what everyone else expected. That courage then seeped into other areas of my life too. I started learning guitar. I went to graduate school. I became a vegan. (I also tried learning Spanish . . . but I'm still working on that one.) As a result, I'm a much happier and healthier version of the me I used to be. My friends and family had to adjust and it wasn’t easy at first. But they got used to it. Now they don’t even remember my previous name.

The same is true for vegan meatloaf. If you're used to a SAD (Standard American Diet) kind of meal, it might take a little adjusting, but give it some time and soon you'll prefer the vegan version. And vegan meatloaf is such a happier, healthier version of it's previous self.

Here's our family’s favorite recipe for vegan meatloaf. Oh, and it's also great on sandwiches too!

Vegan Meatloaf
Recipe adapted from:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 2 packages Gimme Lean, (We use 1 sausage and 1 beef flavored)
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal, dry
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, crumbled
  • 3 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

  1. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat until soft. Add the Bragg.

  2. In a large bowl combine the meat substitute, oatmeal, bread, ketchup, garlic salt, and pepper. Thoroughly mix. I actually spray my hands with no-stick cooking spray and mix it with my hands. This is when I'm really glad it's not beef). 

  3. Press the mixture into an oiled loaf pan. Bake 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. 

  4. Meanwhile, mix together the ingredients for the coating and set aside.

  5. Remove the loaf from the oven and turn it out onto a baking sheet. Spread the coating over the entire loaf. Cook, uncovered, for another 15 minutes.

Thanks, Marly! And be sure to check out Namly Marly. If YOU'd like to be featured in our reader spotlight, just check out our info post with all the gooey details about the spotlight, as well as guest posting opportunities.

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